Anyone can now become president in Zimbabwe including one candidate who is promising jobs, cash, beer, cigarettes and women.
Arnold Mhazo of the little known National Union Party says: “Zimbabwe will never be a boring place again. Never ever!”
This is what the 2018 election has come to with Local Government Minister July Moyo announcing at the Independence Celebrations today that the country now has 123 registered political parties.
It is not clear whether the NUP is registered or not, or whether this is just a bad joke, and whether it’s poster which offers women would be acceptable or not.
But all one needs to contest for president is $1 000 and, of course, nomination by at least 10 registered voters in each province- that is 100 registered voters country-wide.
Zimbabwe’s harmonised elections in which people will be voting for the president, members of parliament, senators and councilors are due in three months or so.
The date for the elections has not yet been announced but the earliest President Emmerson Mnangagwa can proclaim the elections is the end of this month.
According to the constitution the last day he can proclaim the elections in 8 July.
Three opposition parties have taken Mnangagwa to court to bar him from proclaiming the elections.
One says he has no authority to do so because he came to power through a coup while two others argue that the Political Parties Finance Act must be amended to enable the government to fund all political parties in the country to level the playing field.
At the moment only parties that gained five percent or more of votes in the 2013 elections are entitled to funding.